Skip to comments.Report Finds that Fracking Causes Earthquakes, but doesn’t Recommend a Ban
Posted on 04/24/2012 10:50:26 AM PDT by bananaman22
The process of hydraulic fracturing is a mining technique which uses injected fluid to propagate fractures in a rock layer to release hydrocarbon deposits that would otherwise be uncommercial. Developed in the U.S. and first used in 1947 for stimulating of oil and natural gas wells, the use of fracking soared in the past decade as thousands of wells have been drilled into the Marcellus Formation, also referred to as the Marcellus Shale, a deposit of marine sedimentary rock found in eastern North America.
While initial environmental protests of the technique centered around its possibility of polluting underground water aquifers as a number of known carcinogenic substances are used in the procedure, more recently research has focused on an even more ominous byproduct of the technique the increased possibility of earthquakes. While in the U.S. the U.S. Geological Survey and the state governments are investigating the link, in Britain the Department of Energy and Climate Change on 17 April published an independent expert report recommending measures to mitigate the risks of seismic tremors from hydraulic fracturing and invited public comment on its recommendations.
The report reviewed a series of studies commissioned by Cuadrilla, whose fracking operations in Lancashire aroused public debate, and the document confirms that minor earthquakes detected in the area of the companys Preese Hall operations near Blackpool in April and May last year were caused by fracking. DECCs Chief Scientific Advisor David MacKay remarked, If shale gas is to be part of the UKs energy mix we need to have a good understanding of its potential environmental impacts and what can be done to mitigate those impacts. This comprehensive independent review of Cuadrillas evidence suggests a set of robust measures to make sure future seismic risks are minimized - not just at this location but at any other potential sites across the UK.
The report is certain to reopen debate about the Lancashire tremors, which on Full article at: UK Govt. Seismic Fracking Report Certain to Sharpen Debate
If this is true, this is great news. If we were able to use this new technology to slowly release the techtonic pressures at great depths, we might actually be able to mitigate some of the effects of the plate techtonic drift, massive earthquakes.
I think we should spend more money on these studies.
See, the studies are looking for reasons to condemn this practice. They will find additional detrimental effects until someone decides this is dangerous, bad for the planet, etc. Then the legal brigade and envirowackos will come in waving flags and flogging themselves in protest.
Who wrote the report? The guys who invented Global warming?
This is all just Commie Bullsh!t.
Small earthquakes can be set off by fracking, in areas where there would have been quakes sooner or later anyway.
Small earthquakes happen all the time. They are harmless, and in fact can sometimes be considered beneficial if they relieve the stress before it builds up into a big earthquake.
“Cause” is probably the wrong word. There would have been an earthquake anyway, in most cases, so all fracking did was to change the timing.
Earthquake scientists have experimented with the idea of deliberately stimulating small quakes, in order to lessen the chances of a big one. This isn’t much different.
I guess it depends whether you are wearing a green or a red hat. And whether you are producing something useful, or spending government funds from a research grant.
I’ll bet that the math backing this “study” up (if indeed, there is any math at all), is right down there with the quality of the junk currently infesting global warming nests.
Math is not a friend of libs.
There must be one hell of a lot of fracking going on in Japan!
They have NO proof. This is not even a theory, just a hypothesis.
I wish schools would teach real science and those who call themselves “scientists” use the Scientific Method before shooting off their mouths and pens.
I guess there is not as much fame or fortune to be had by following real scientific rules.
“They have NO proof.”
Yeah! Just sounds like a bunch of liberish to me.
They (so-called scientists) lied about warming for a political agenda; why wouldn’t they lie about fracking for the same reason?
If they'd keep it to flogging themselves, we could ignore them. But they're flogging all of us.
Gee fracking has been used for over 60 years and just now someone says it causes earthquakes. Where is the data from our 60 years of experience to document more earthquakes in areas where fracking was used? I doubt there is any actual data just the same theoretical BS like that used to back up global warming.
I must need new glasses... I read this and wondered why there’s no earthquakes under my house!
Since you asked:
On 5 November an earthquake measuring 5.6 rattled Oklahoma and was felt as far away as Illinois.
Until two years ago Oklahoma typically had about 50 earthquakes a year, but in 2010, 1,047 quakes shook the state.
In Lincoln County, where most of this past weekend's seismic incidents were centered, there are 181 injection wells, according to Matt Skinner, an official from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the agency which oversees oil and gas production in the state.
Cause and effect?
The practice of injecting water into deep rock formations causes earthquakes, both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Geological Survey have concluded.
The U.S. natural gas industry pumps a mixture of water and assorted chemicals deep underground to shatter sediment layers containing natural gas, a process called hydraulic fracturing, known more informally as fracking. While environmental groups have primarily focused on frackings capacity to pollute underground water, a more ominous byproduct emerges from U.S. government studies that forcing fluids under high pressure deep underground produces increased regional seismic activity.
As the U.S. natural gas industry mounts an unprecedented and expensive advertising campaign to convince the public that such practices are environmentally benign, U.S. government agencies have determined otherwise.
According to the U.S. Armys Rocky Mountain Arsenal website, the RMA drilled a deep well for disposing of the sites liquid waste after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concluded that this procedure is effective and protective of the environment. According to the RMA, The Rocky Mountain Arsenal deep injection well was constructed in 1961, and was drilled to a depth of 12,045 feet and 165 million gallons of Basin F liquid waste, consisting of very salty water that includes some metals, chlorides, wastewater and toxic organics was injected into the well during 1962-1966.
Why was the process halted? The Army discontinued use of the well in February 1966 because of the possibility that the fluid injection was triggering earthquakes in the area, according to the RMA. In 1990, the Earthquake Hazard Associated with Deep Well Injection--A Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study of RMA events by Craig Nicholson, and R.I. Wesson stated simply, Injection had been discontinued at the site in the previous year once the link between the fluid injection and the earlier series of earthquakes was established.
I feel many earthquakes daily. Everytime a kid in his rice burner goes by with his audio system blasting. Not to mention the staight pipe motorcycles that also rattle my windows. Frack baby Frack. (I sit in the heart of Marcellus Country)
You are confusing injection disposal wells with fracking. Get your facts straight.
I'm comparing injecting liquid at high pressure deep underground to injecting liquid at high pressure deep underground. The ultimate purpose is different in both cases, but the activity and consequences are quite similar. If you want to expound on the differences, and why the earthquakes have risen twenty-fold in Oklahoma and other fracking sites, I'm genuinely interested.
I carry no preconceived notions into this discussion, and merely sought to share with the poster information he was clearly unaware of.
And leaving out the length of time that happens. Fracking goes on for a short period of time. An injection well happens for years.
If you want to expound on the differences, and why the earthquakes have risen twenty-fold in Oklahoma and other fracking sites, I'm genuinely interested.
That deserves its own study, and I'm sure we will get several of varying quality, depending upon the agenda of who is doing a given study. However, it's an apples-to-oranges comparison.
And it's not like the earthquakes that occur in the vicinity of fracking locations are major ones.
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